Friday, April 6, 2007

REED: An Introduction

Today I gave the name "Rural Enhancement through Education and Design" to a dream that has been simmering inside of me since the summer of 2006. A graduate engineering student, I had the unique opportunity to get clinical experience in prosthetics at Jackson's UMMC and Honduras' CAMO. From my experience came some hopes for my future in academics:
  • To partner with an O&P Lab or PT clinic, so that students can volunteer for at least a semester in a clinical setting before embarking on their biomechanics research
  • To develop a joint research program in a developing country, where graduate students will have the privilage to work with doctors and medical aids to provide solutions to health needs in developing nations, especially to those living in rural areas
I am already involved in two projects that developed from my travels to Honduras:
  • Prosthetic Ankle Design: A team of 4 students have identified the need of an ankle joint to improve the functionality of donated prosthetic legs for amputees in the mountainous country. Their articulating ankle will be manufactured onsite in Honduras, be fully customizable based on patient needs, and be able to withstand the harsh rural environment
  • Class Projects with Impact: I have been working with a professor of a biomedical engineering introductory class to design a class project that will support health and health education in rural Honduras. The project is integrated into 6 basic steps of engineering design and the best design solutions will be implemented by professionals working in the region.

I like the word REED for this endeavor, because although a reed is weak, it is a bearer of seeds. I do not expect my dreams to produce a large organization; rather, I hope pieces of my dreams will find soil in others and grow.

No comments: